Okay, so we decided to go to the hospital. I took a shower and Lee got some things together and loaded into the car. All the while this was so surreal to me, I just couldn't believe it was happening :) We got to the hospital around 3:30. I made Lee leave all of our things in the car, because I wasn't sure that they weren't going to send us home. I told them that I thought I was in labor but not sure. So they hooked me up to watch my contractions. They checked me and I was dilated to a 3 and about 80% effaced. The week before at the dr, I had been a 2 and 75%, so I wasn't really surprised, but glad to know that some progress had been made at least! So they let me lay there for an hour, and of course, my contractions got farther apart and weren't lasting nearly as long. I was really frustrated. At this point, I had been in labor of some sort for somewhere around 9 hours and I felt like it had gone NO WHERE. And the nurse or whatever, while perfectly nice, wasn't exactly reassuring and didn't at any point try and make me feel better or say that people come in all the time thinking they are in labor. Which, clearly I was in labor, but you know what I mean. I kept second guessing myself.
So she came back to the room at about 4:30 and basically said that I needed to go and walk around for an hour and come back. If there was any change in dilation, then they would admit me, and if not, then they would tell me that I was in "early labor" and send me home. Walking for an hour sounded absolutely horrendous to me at that moment, but that's what they told me so we got up and went outside. It was actually really nice outside at 4:30am and there was a breeze that made me feel better. We walked circles around the parking lot for an hour. Haha, we didn't make many laps, even though it was a really small lot, not even a lot really, more of a drop-off area. Between my super swollen feet and having to stop every so often to breathe through a contraction, I think we circled it about 4 times, lol. The good news is that we had to stop pretty often for the contractions so I thought that this was definitely getting things going. We went back up and I was at a 4, woohoo! So they took me to a L&D room and got me admitted. I think that was around 6am. Now this part made me mad. The nurse got us settled and she said that they were going to just let me hang out in the room and see what happens. What? I wanted to say " I can tell you what's going to happen, I'm going to have a baby in this room and TODAY!!" Why would you tell someone that? Like she thought I was pretending. Whatever. By 7am they had a shift change and I had another nurse for the rest of the time. Not that she was fabulous herself but at least she didn't treat me like I didn't know what was going on with my own body.
At about 7:30, my OB came into the room. By this time my contractions were pretty regular and getting really intense. The pain in my back was the worst part. Not that the uterine contractions weren't bad, because they were, but the back pain, it was really bad. Come to find out, I had indeed been having "back labor". It is supposed to be a constant pain, which I never knew. We later found out that Cooper was not facing my back like I thought, he was actually on his side which is what caused the back labor. Anyway, my water hadn't broken by this point so he wanted to break my water, which I was really scared about for some reason. I had heard a long time ago that it hurt really bad to have it broken, but since then I've heard that it really didn't hurt. He assured me that 1) it wouldn't hurt (how does he freaking know anyway? he's a MAN!! That's what I was thinking) and 2) it would help speed things along. So he did that, which, no didn't hurt in itself, but he also checked me out for progress and THAT hurt like hell. I was at a 5 and 100%. (yay) So, then he asked if I wanted an epidural. Hmmm. I had planned to have this baby naturally, i.e. no drugs whatsoever, but I wasn't sure that I could relax enough if things kept going like they were. I couldn't imagine the contractions getting any more painful. I was about to climb up the wall as it was. We discussed my concerns, at length, and I still wasn't sure that it was the right decision, so I said that I wanted to wait a while and see.
Well, he wasn't kidding around about the fact that breaking my water would help move things along. Over the next 45 minutes - 1 hour, things were happening hard and fast and I couldn't even catch my breath. So I told the nurse that I'd get the epidural. At this point my only concern was that it would slow things down but she said that it was unlikely given how far along I was (I think I was at a 6 by this time, I don't really remember much during that time). I was also terrified of the needle, but there wasn't much anyone could do about that. I think I finally got the epidural around 9. It wasn't that bad. The worst part was having to be so still during the contractions.
Oh my gosh. It was pretty amazing. I have not once regretted getting the epidural, even though I really thought I would. I did, though, feel a little guilty when Lee would tell me what a great job I was doing. Because I felt like I wasn't doing anything. Literally, I was so relaxed that I took a nap for about 2 hours. After that 2 hours, I was at a 9. I couldn't believe it. So they started getting the room ready for the delivery! I think this was around 11. A little after noon, the nurse FINALLY came back to check me, and I was complete so I started pushing. I had no idea that you pushed with the nurse until you got the baby crowning. I thought that was weird. They make you wait for the doctor to get there with this head coming out?! Whatever. I think I pushed a total of maybe 6 contractions. It wasn't very many, but I wasn't prepared for how exhausting the pushing would be; it was SO much work. The next 3 days my arms were sore from how hard I was pulling myself on my legs. The we waited for the doctor to get there (so weird!) I was glad that I still felt the urge to push even with the epidural, that helped a lot, but made it difficult during the waiting, because I could also feel the baby's head. Once the doctor got there, I pushed two times I think and he was here! I will never forget hearing that little cry for the first time!
Here are some pics from the day, even though I look like crap in them :)
Right before I started pushing
Lee swore up and down the whole pregnancy that he wasn't going to want to cut the cord. I think it kind of grossed him out. I wasn't offended, I really didn't care either way. Even in the delivery room we told the nurses that he didn't want to do it. But, once Cooper was out and it came time to cut the cord, Lee was all about it :) It's cute. Also cute was the fact that our Dr. tried to get Lee to pose with him for the picture. They took two posed pictures before he did the actual cut :) I think Lee was too excited because he wasn't posing for any of the pics.
Getting weighed and measured. As soon as Lee held his hand, he stopped crying :)
I couldn't believe he was finally here!
Of course we had to get an OU shot within Cooper's first 24 hours!
Ready to go home! Look how tiny he was in his carseat! He is already bigger than this :(
So sweet :) We did put things around his head do it wasn't flopping around in the car!
We were surprised with this stork when we pulled up to the house!